By Don Smith
How can the rights of gun owners be balanced with the public interest while preventing another incident like Parkland, Florida?
Here’s an idea: legislators open hearings to design a bill to hold government and its agencies accountable at all levels. Citizens might even be willing to tolerate suspension of due process for government officials if for the common good.
We all understand that government can and will justify any action it takes as being in the public interest and/or an emergency. But it rarely holds itself accountable to the same standards it requires of its citizens.
Let us count the ways government ineptitude permits, contributes to, or causes violence using the Broward County School System as an example.
According to a report in the Miami Herald:
- “...Cruz was never expelled from Broward schools. Legally, he couldn’t be. Under federal law, Nikolas Cruz had a right to a 'free and appropriate' education at a public school near him. His classmates had a right to an education free of fear." The article details a long list of problems stretching back years, including “threat assessments.” (Emphasis added.)
- "While the other students waited in the hallway for their eighth-grade science teacher to let them into the classroom, Cruz would sometimes bang and kick the door, Guerra said. He would yell profanities at the teacher, telling her to 'Open up the f-- ---g door!’” (Emphasis added.)
Reference Link: Parkland shooter always in trouble, never expelled. Could the school system have done more? http://www.miamiherald.com/ news/local/article201216104.html
Broward County Sheriff’s Office — "Stunning Series of Failures”
• “… Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies had multiple warnings that the 19 -year-old was a violent threat and a potential school shooter, according to r e c o r d s r e l e a s e d T h u r s - day.” (Emphasis added.)
- "Nikolas Cruz’s dangerous and disturbing behavior was flagged repeatedly to authorities, both local and federal ….” (Emphasis added— Question: Anybody in government “own” this?)
Reference Link: Parkland school cop ‘never went in’ during the shooting. There were other failures, too. ( Emphasis added.) http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/broward/article201636649.html
Broward Schools & Sheriff 'Cook Books' to Suppress Discipline, Arrest Records
Broward County School District and Sheriff’s Department “cooked the books” in order to lower arrest records for the student population. (Emphasis added.)
(Question: If two agencies perpetrate fraud — which leads to murder, is anybody in those agencies accountable? How bad was the fraud?)
"Broward County schools once recorded more in-school arrests than any other Florida school system,” according to The Washington Post. (Emphasis added.)
- Beginning in 2013, Broward stopped referring students to police for about a dozen infractions ranging from alcohol and drug use to bullying, harassment and assault.
Surprise! The collusion between the school district and sheriff’s department resulted in "a dramatic decline in the number of students who are arrested at school.” (Emphasis added.)
No kidding! Do the arithmetic: school-based arrests plummeted by 63 percent from 2012 to 2016. Who says authorities don’t know how to make schools safer? Can’t fix what you don’t measure.
"The Obama administration held up Broward’s transformed discipline system as a national model, inviting [Superintendent Robert W.] Runcie to speak [at a White House event] about t h e d i s t r i c t ’ s a p p r o a c h i n 2015.” (Emphasis added.)
Guess where Superintendent Runcie was before Broward County:
Chicago Public Schools.
Reference Link : https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/ education/teachers-say-floridashooters-problems-started-in-middleschool-and-the-system-tried-to-helphim/2018/02/18/cdff7aa6-1413-11e8- 9065e55346f6de81_story.html? utm_term=.890a73ab56a0
No one held accountable. A White House, School District and Sheriff’s department that celebrate fake numbers resulting in the death of 17 students. Cheating on school violence records went on at other schools too. And we’re supposed to trust government to get it right and keep kids and us safe? Our rights should not depend on the behavior of the lawless — or the ineptitude of government authorities.
Perhaps a member of Congress could conduct an inquiry in order to design a bill that would hold government officials accountable at all levels. Let their due process be held in abeyance. Congressman John Katko (NY-24) prosecuted bad guys under RICO. This is perfect for him; and what a lesson for government. By the way, if government officials at any level screw up a NICS form. Same deal. And so on and so on. And Broward County is just one example. Wow, can you imagine. Citizens will be cheering Mr. Katko in the street as he goes after corrupt and inept government officials at all levels. About time!